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Solid-state drives are notorious for their low storage capacities. But recent advances in NAND memory technology allowed manufacturers to produce SSDs with capacities that match traditional hard disk drives (HDD). The increase in storage density makes SSDs more attractive over slower HDDs in data centers, workstations, and PCs.

If you’re out on the market for large capacity SATA solid-state drives, we’ve compiled a list of SSDs with capacities ranging from 8TB to 4TB. The drives are also varied according to their intended use. We will also discuss essential features to keep an out for when buying SATA SSDs.

What to look out for when buying SATA SSDs

Before buying a large capacity SATA SSD, here are the features you should look out for to pick the right drive for your device.

Capacity

Since we’re talking of high-density drives, it is important to note that the cost per GB decreases as the SSD capacity increases. Although high-capacity SSDs are expensive at first blush, they are cheaper per gigabyte than lower density drives. If you can stretch your budget a bit more for a larger drive, do so.

Read and Write Performance

When it comes to storage, speed matters. Read and write speeds come in two forms: sequential and random. Without getting into the nitty-gritty details, sequential performance matters most when moving large contiguous files. In contrast, random access performance matters when running programs whose files are scattered throughout the disk.

In the case of SSDs, drives used mainly for storage should have high sequential read and write performance. Most modern SATA SSDs have sequential read and write speeds of around 550 MBps. The SATA III interface caps out at around 600MBps. If we include overhead, the total throughput of the SSD is very near the interface limit.

Manufacturers tend to overemphasize sequential over random read/write speeds as the accurate measure of SSD performance. In reality, random access performance is equally important. Operating systems and programs often have their files scattered throughout the drive. These files need to be accessed time and time again via random access. That said, the higher the random input/output operations per second (IOPS) an SSD has, the better.

In sum, choose an SSD that has the best combination of sequential and random access performance.

Endurance and Warranty

SSD endurance is expressed as Terabytes Written (TBW) or drive Writes per Day (DWPD). TBW is the total amount of data written to the drive over its lifespan. DWPD, on the other hand, is the ability of the SSD to withstand a specified amount of data written into it in a day within the warranty period.

In a nutshell, endurance is the measure of how many write/erase cycles the SSD’s flash memory can endure before it’s likely to fail. High endurance enterprise SSDs are understandably more expensive than consumer-grade SSDs. Ideally, you should look for drives with high TBWs/DWPDs and extended warranties if you will subject the SSDs to intensive workloads.

Largest Capacity SATA SSDs Comparison

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
Samsung 870 QVO (MZ-77Q8T0B/AM) on Amazon
Samsung 870 QVO (MZ-77Q8T0B/AM)Capacity: 8 TB
Sequential Read: 560MBps
Sequential Write: 530MBps
Random Read: 98,000 IOPS
Random Write: 88,000 IOPS
Hardware Interface/Protocol: SATA III 6 GB/s AHCI
Flash Memory: Samsung 4bit MLC V-NAND
Form Factor: 2.5”
Endurance: 2,880 TBW
Warranty: 3 years
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Intel D3-S4510 7.68 TB on Amazon
Intel D3-S4510 7.68 TBCapacity: 7.68 TB
Sequential Read: 550 MBps
Sequential Write: 510 MBps
Random Read: 89,500 IOPS
Random Write: 21,000 IOPS
Hardware Interface/Protocol: SATA III 6 GB/s AHCI
Flash Memory: Intel 64-Layer TLC 3D NAND
Form Factor: 2.5”
Endurance: 26,829 TBW
Warranty: 5 years
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Samsung PM883 Series 7.68TB (MZ7LH7T6HMLA-00005) on Amazon
Samsung PM883 Series 7.68TB (MZ7LH7T6HMLA-00005)Capacity: 7.68 TB
Sequential Read: 550 MBps
Sequential Write: 520 MBps
Random Read: 98,000 IOPS
Random Write: 25,000 IOPS
Hardware Interface/Protocol: SATA III 6 GB/s AHCI
Flash Memory: Samsung 64-layer 3-bit TLC 3D/V-NAND
Form Factor: 2.5”
Endurance: 10,932 TBW
Warranty: 3 years
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Micron 5210 Ion 7.68TB (MTFDDAK7T6QDE) on Amazon
Micron 5210 Ion 7.68TB (MTFDDAK7T6QDE)Capacity: 7.68 TB
Sequential Read: 540 MBps
Sequential Write: 360 MBps
Random Read: 90,000 IOPS
Random Write: 4,500 IOPS
Hardware Interface/Protocol: SATA III 6 GB/s AHCI
Flash Memory: Micron 3D QLC NAND
Form Factor: 2.5”
Endurance: 11,210 TBW
Warranty: 5 years
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Samsung 860 Pro 4TB (MZ-76P4T0BW) on Amazon
Samsung 860 Pro 4TB (MZ-76P4T0BW)Capacity: 4 TB
Sequential Read: 560 MBps
Sequential Write: 530 MBps
Random Read: 100,000 IOPS
Random Write: 90,000 IOPS
Hardware Interface/Protocol: SATA III 6 GB/s AHCI
Flash Memory: Samsung V-NAND 2bit MLC
Form Factor: 2.5”
Endurance: 4,800 TBW
Warranty: 5 years
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Seagate FireCuda 120 4TB (ZA4000GM10001)Capacity: 4 TB
Sequential Read: 560 MBps
Sequential Write: 540 MBps
Random Read: 100,000 IOPS
Random Write: 90,000 IOPS
Hardware Interface/Protocol: SATA III 6 GB/s AHCI
Flash Memory: BiCS4 96-layer 3D TLC NAND
Form Factor: 2.5”
Endurance: 5,600 TBW
Warranty: 5 years
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Western Digital 4TB WD Red SA500 (WDS400T1R0A) on Amazon
Western Digital 4TB WD Red SA500 (WDS400T1R0A)Capacity: 4 TB
Sequential Read: 560 MBps
Sequential Write: 530 MBps
Random Read: 95,000 IOPS
Random Write: 82,000 IOPS
Hardware Interface/Protocol: SATA III 6 GB/s AHCI
Flash Memory: SanDisk 64-layer 3D TLC NAND
Form Factor: 2.5”
Endurance: 2,500 TBW
Warranty: 5 years
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1. Samsung 870 QVO 8 TB (MZ-77Q8T0B/AM) – Best 8 TB Consumer-Grade SATA SSD

The Samsung 870 QVO is the latest high-capacity SATA SSD from the storage giant. Just like its 670 QVO predecessor, the 870 QVO consumer-grade solid-state drive features Samsung’s V5 V-NAND 9x-Layer QLC flash technology. The 870 QVO sports Samsung’s new MKX controller, which gives the SSD a slight bump in sequential performance over the 860 QVO.

The only drawback of the 870 QVO is its endurance. Rated at 2,880TBW, the 870 may be unappealing for users who move a lot of data into and from the solid-state drive. Also, the 870 QVO’s three-year warranty is relatively short compared to the five-year warranties offered by the competition and by Samsung itself on its other SSDs.

OUR TAKE
The Samsung 870 QVO is an excellent storage solution for users looking for a fast, high-density solid-state drive. The 870 QVO is fast, comes with AES 256-bit encryption, and software support to monitor drive health and performance. Before grabbing one, do note that the SSD has a rather mediocre endurance and short warranty coverage.
PROS

  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Comes with a software suite (Samsung Magician)
CONS

  • Low TBW
  • Short three-year warranty
 

2. Intel D3-S4510 7.68 TB – Best Data Center SATA SSD / Endurance King

Targeted at the data center market, the Intel D3-S4510 is a high-capacity SSD that uses Intel’s latest 64-layer 3D TLC NAND technology. The solid-state drive features 7.68TB of capacity and has read and write speeds of 550 MBps 510 MBps, respectively. Performance-wise, the D3-S4510 is neck and neck with Samsung’s PM883. However, the Intel SSD has an advantage when it comes to reliability.

Of the three enterprise/server-grade SSDs in this list, the D3-S4510 is the most expensive. The price premium, however, is justified. The D3-S4510 is covered by a 5-year warranty and has a massive endurance rating of 26,829 TBW. In contrast, the PM883 is only rated at 10,932 TBW.

The Intel D3-S4510 has all the boxes checked out when it comes to data center SSDs. The solid-state drive supports AES 256-bit encryption, end-to-end data protection, and power loss data protection.

OUR TAKE
We highly recommend Intel’s D3-S4510 in terms of reliability. With twice the TBW of its competitions and an additional two years of warranty, the D3-S4510 is an attractive option for users who want a fast, reliable, and secure data center and workstation SSD.
PROS

  • Very high endurance
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Power loss protection
  • End-to-end data protection
  • Comes with a software suite (Intel® Memory and Storage Tool)
  • Five-year warranty
CONS

  • None
 

3. Samsung PM883 Series 7.68 TB (MZ7LH7T6HMLA-00005) – Mid-Level Data Center SATA SSD

Samsung’s PM883 is a high capacity SATA SSD oriented primarily at data centers. At 7.68TB, the PM883 has the highest capacity among Samsung’s line of data center SSDs. The SSD features Samsung’s 64-layer TLC 3D V-NAND chips to provide 7.68 terabytes of usable storage.

Inside the PM883 is Samsung’s Maru controller, which allows the SSD to reach a sequential read speed of 550 MB/s and a sequential write speed of 520 MB/s. Random read/write performance is at 98,000 IOPS and 25,000 IOPS, respectively. The PM883 supports 256-bit AES encryption and comes with a power loss data protection feature to preserve data integrity.

The PM883 comes with a relatively short warranty period of three years.  While its 10,932 TBW endurance rating is acceptable, this threshold can easily be exceeded when the SSD is subjected to constant heavy workloads typical in data centers.

OUR TAKE
Despite its short warranty period and low TBW, the Samsung PM883 is a solid SATA-based solid-state drive. The PM883 has a balance of speed, capacity, and endurance, making it ideal for data centers, high-end desktops, and even ordinary PCs. The PM883 features 256-bit AES encryption and a power loss protection feature to prevent data loss.
PROS

  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Power loss protection
  • End-to-end data protection
  • Comes with a software suite (Samsung SSD DC Tool Kit)
CONS

  • Three-year warranty
 

4. Micron 5210 Ion 7.68TB (MTFDDAK7T6QDE) – Budget Data Center SSD

The Micron 5210 Ion is a 7.68 terabyte solid-state drive from Boise-based Micron Technologies. The 5210 Ion is a SATA-based solid-state drive featuring Micron’s 3D QLC NAND technology. Inside the 5219 is a Marvell 88SS1074 controller that allows for 540 MBps sequential read and 360 MBps sequential write speeds. As for random access performance, the Ion is capable of 90,000 IOPS for random read and an abysmal 4,500 IOPS for random write.

The 5210 Ion is Micron’s answer to Samsung’s PM883 and Intel’s D3-S4510 enterprise-grade SSDs. On paper, the Micron 5210 is lagging behind its competitors in terms of write speeds but is on par with the Samsung and Intel SSDs when it comes to read speeds. The 5210 supports AES 256-bit encryption with TCG Enterprise options and end-to-end data path protection (ETEP) for data security. The SSD also comes with a power loss protection feature for cached and stored data.

OUR TAKE
The Micron 5210 Ion is the cheapest of the three 7.68TB data center drives on this list. We recommend the SSD for users who are on a tight budget. The 5210 Ion’s slow sequential and random write speeds may be less than satisfactory, but at least its read speeds are on par with the competition.
PROS

  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Power loss protection
  • End-to-end data protection
  • Comes with a software suite
  • Five-year warranty
CONS

  • Slow sequential write speed
 

5. Samsung 860 Pro 4TB (MZ-76P4T0BW) – Best 4TB SATA SSD

Introduced in 2018, Samsung’s 860-series SSDs are still among the fastest and most reliable SSDs around. Unlike its 4TB 860 Evo sibling, the 4TB 860 Pro is faster and more robust than the cheaper 860. The 860 Pro uses Samsung’s 2-bit 64-layer MLC V-NAND flash memory instead of the 3-bit TLC memory used in the Evo.

The 860 Pro comes with Samsung’s time-tested MJX controller and a 4GB LPDDR4 DRAM. The combination allows the SSD to reach sequential read and write speeds of 560 MBps and 530 MBps, respectively. Its random performance is exceptional at 100,000 IOPS (read) and 90,000 IOPS (write).

The 860 Pro commands a price premium over its 860 Evo sibling for a reason – speed and endurance. While both perform roughly the same, the 860 Pro is rated at 4,800 TBW. In comparison, the 860 Evo is only rated at 2,400 TBW. Samsung also offers a five-year limited warranty on the drive for good measure.

OUR TAKE
Recommending the Samsung 860 Pro is a no-brainer. The combination of performance and reliability makes the 860 Pro hands-down the best 4TB SSD on this list. Throw in Samsung’s 5-year limited warranty, and one can rest easy with the 860 plugged in.
PROS

  • High random read and write performance
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Comes with a software suite
  • Five-year warranty
CONS

  • None
 

6. Seagate FireCuda 120 4TB (ZA4000GM10001) – Best SATA SSD for Gaming

The FireCuda 120 is the latest in Seagate’s FireCuda line of gaming-oriented solid-state drives. The SSD offers 4TB of storage capacity to accommodate modern games that eat up a lot of hard drive space. Besides providing storage space, the FireCuda boasts fast read and write speeds to reduce loading and installation times.

Inside the FireCuda 120 are 96-layer BiCS4 3D TLC NAND chips that provide four terabytes of storage space. Coupled with Phison’s S12 controller, the FireCuda SSD puts out 560 MBps sequential read and 540 MBps sequential write speeds. The SSD also excels at random read and write performance, which is essential when playing games.

The FireCuda is not only fast, but it is also reliable. On paper, Seagate states that the SSD has an endurance rating of 5,600 TBW. The FireCuda’s high endurance allows the dive to handle more game installations and typical write workloads within its lifespan. Also, the FireCuda 120 is backed by a five-year warranty for additional peace of mind.

OUR TAKE
Seagate marketed the FireCuda 120 as a gaming SSD, and we highly recommend it as such. It has a capacity sufficient to store several filesize-heavy games, is slightly faster than other consumer-grade SATA drives, and could endure more write cycles.
PROS

  • High random read and write performance
  • Comes with software suite (Seagate SeaTools™)
  • Five-year warranty
CONS

  • None
 

7. Western Digital 4TB WD Red SA500 (WDS400T1R0A) – Affordable NAS SSD

Western Digital’s WD Red SA500 is a 4TB solid-state drive marketed primarily as a NAS (network-attached storage) SSD. The SA500 has a sequential read speed of 560 MBps and a sequential write speed of up to 530 MBps. The SA500 would make an excellent SSD cache since its sequential read and write throughput may be bottlenecked by the network connection.

The SA500 uses SanDisk’s 64-layer 3D TLC flash memory chips and Marvell’s 88SS1074 controller. The 4TB variant of the SA500 has an endurance rating of 2,500 TBW, which is a bit low for an SSD marketed for NAS use. However, Western Digital provides a 5-year warranty on the SA500 in case of a drive failure.

OUR TAKE
For users looking for a cheap NAS caching device, the WD Red SA500 is an excellent option. On paper, it performs just like other SSDs but costs less. The SA500 is covered by a five-year warranty that is quite handy for a device subjected to 24/7 use.
PROS

  • Five-year warranty
CONS

  • Low TBW
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do SATA SSD sequential read/write speeds cap out at around 550MBps?

SSD speeds cap out due to the SATA III 6GBps interface limitation that only allows up to 600MBps of throughput. SATA SSDs cannot go beyond the limit due to overhead.

Why do SSDs wear out over time?

The memory cells of NAND flash memories degrade every time the cell is written on. SSDs often come with a wear-leveling feature, but each memory cell can only endure so much write/erase cycles.

Are SSDs unsuitable for NAS?

Not necessarily. SSDs can be used as cache disks to increase performance. If SSDs are used as NAS drives, their blazing fast speeds might be bottlenecked by the Ethernet connection. Although, for long term data storage, classic HDDs are still more reliable.

Categories: Reviews